Extremes: Success and Failure In The Snow ~ A Flip and The Longest Jump
The Winter Olympics venue of Tignes in the French Alps is well known for its amazing skiing and freestyle off-piste. Going downhill is one thing. How about going uphill. And then doing a backflip.
In a Mini?
Former extreme ski world champion Guerlain Chicherit was fresh from competing in this year's Dakar Rally (where he'd finished an impressive eighth overall in his SMG Buggy) when he was strapped into the Mini Countryman to take on this challenge. Four years of preparation had gone into the attempt, and no doubt a lot of computer modelling -- and finger crossing.
Back To The Future crossed with Live And Let Die: Guerlain had to maintain exactly 60kph and be full on the throttle on the ramp to achieve the correct velocity. He made two attempts: one in private to prove it worked -- and he was still in one piece -- and then a second in front of the crowd at the ski resort that evening.
In the air, in slow motion, it all looks graceful and in control. It's the reality of how the four wheels are going to reconnect with the snow that's the worry.
MINI Attempts First Ever Unassisted 360° Backflip
Published on Feb 19, 2013: Video
Then on December 8, 2014, some time later, Guerlain tried something a little different. With more speed, more distance, and more risk, he would attempt to beat the world record for the longest ramp car jump: